Sam Edney Puts Silver Lining around Calgary Track at Viessmann Luge World Cup
CALGARY—On what will go down as his final run on the track he grew up on at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Sam Edney celebrated the silver medal Friday night with the people who have been trackside cheering him on over the last two decades.
“It all started here 18 years ago on this track. I knew it was going to be my final run here so to get it done on my home track in front of these people who have been here since the beginning is very special,” said Edney. “I was really calm all week. I knew I had the potential to do this. I just sat at the start tonight and put it on auto pilot and told myself to enjoy this one.”
Struggling to crack his way into the top-20 in the early part of the season, the three-time Olympian sat in fourth spot despite a choppy first trip down the 1,400-metre track. Drawing on the thousands of training runs he’s taken on the down the 14-corner track in the Stampede City, Edney powered out of the handles, and sat down for the ride his life and his third career World Cup medal with a time of 1:29.138.
“I knew it was there. It is kind of a dream come true,” said the 33-year-old Edney, whose only World Cup victory came in Calgary in 2014. He also snagged a bronze medal at the World Cup test event in Pyeongchang, Korea last year. “This is huge. I needed it big time.”
Germany’s Felix Loch won the gold with a time of 1:28.752. Russia’s Roman Repilov held on for the bronze medal with a time of 1:29.205.
While Edney was celebrating on the podium, it was 22-year-old Mitch Malyk who captured the world’s attention when he put down a track record time of 44.490 that was later topped twice, including once by the race winner and two-time Olympic Champion Loch.
“That was very exciting. I just focused on putting it down the track as fast as I could today,” said Malyk, who has two top-10 finishes on the World Cup – both coming in Calgary. “It was very cool to hold the record (for a short time). I took a screen shot of it.”
Sliding into new territory for the youngster, Malyk mixed it up with the legends in the sport, but came up just shy of his first career podium, finishing fourth with a time of 1:29.265 to complete the most successful night ever for the Canadian men’s luge squad.
“To see the Mitch get that track record is really cool. It is something I have been chasing for 16 years. He is the future of luge in Canada and he should cherish that,” said Edney. “This is such a big step for us mentally as a team – especially the men’s team – heading into the second half of the season.
“A lot of confidence comes from this. We trust our sleds. We trust ourselves and we build a lot of morale from this as a group. We are now only nine weeks away from the Olympics – this is a big moment for us.”
Edney received $1,500 from WinSport’s Sarah Burke Award – given to the top Canadian athlete who finishes on the podium in each of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles racing.
The only other Canadian to podium in men’s singles luge on the World Cup is Tyler Seitz who won a bronze medal in his final race in Calgary back in 2002. Seitz, who is the senior manager of ice and building operations at Winsport Canada was trackside Friday night to watch the records fall with his ice crew led by Ritchie Monuik.
The Viessmann Luge World Cup continues on Saturday at Canada Olympic Park with the women’s races at 9:30 a.m., followed by the team relay at 12:50 p.m.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.
Complete Results: http://www.fil-luge.org/en/multimedia/viessmann-world-cup-21